World History 1922

About the history of the world in 1922, Ghandi sent to prison, Mussolini becomes prime minister of Italy, the tomb of Tutankhamen discovered.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1922

* Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 53, of India, was sentenced to six years in prison for his nonviolent protests against British rule in his homeland.

Oct. 30 Some 50,000 members of the year-old Fascist party marched on Rome as their leader, Benito Mussolini, 39, became prime minister. Mussolini had prepared well for this day. The son of a revolutionary blacksmith, he began his career as an intense Socialist. At 19 he dodged the Italian draft and fled north to Switzerland, where his radical ideas and activities quickly alienated him from Swiss authorities. He returned to Italy in 1904 to begin writing for the Socialist cause and in 1912 became editor of the official socialist daily, Avanti! With the outbreak of W. W. I, Mussolini suddenly turned hawk and urged his country to enter the war on the side of the Allies. For this radical departure from the Socialist line (the party favored neutrality), he lost his job and so established his own paper, Il Popolo d'Italia. Serving in the war himself, Mussolini, by now disgusted with traditional socialism, organized his fellow veterans into the Fascist party in 1921. Fascist gangs cropped up in cities all over Italy to threaten and intimidate leftists. By October, 1922, Mussolini had so effectively exploited unrest, unemployment, and the unstable Italian government that a Fascist takeover seemed inevitable. While Il Duce attended a play in Milan, 300,000 Fascists swarmed the land, capturing cities, commandeering railroads, and seizing government buildings. Short on weapons, the Facists raided war museums for their obsolete guns and swords. Amid a steady rain, they slogged on to Rome, brandishing muskets, rusty African big-game guns, and single-shot powder rifles. Although one of the wealthier Fascists rumbled into the Eternal City with a machine gun bolted to the roof of his Fiat sports car, others crossed the stone bridges into the capital waving table legs and garden hoes. And some stood ready to take on the might of the Italian army with nothing but a good stiff baccala (a dried, salted fish). But it never came to that, for King Victor Emmanuel bowed to the rising Fascist tide and sent Mussolini a telegram: "H.M. the king begs you to proceed to Rome as soon as possible as he wishes to entrust you with the task of forming a cabinet." On board the Milan-to-Rome express, Mussolini changed into a fresh black shirt, matching pants, morning coat, white spats, and bowler hat for his audience with the king. At the royal palace, he said to His Highness, "Your Majesty will forgive my attire-I have come from the battlefield." Fascism had begun its 23-year run in Italy.

Nov. English archaeologists Lord Carnarvon, 56, and Howard Carter, 49, discovered the tomb of young King Tutankhamen after seven years of excavation in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor in central Egypt. The royal sepulcher had survived 33 centuries intact.

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